Watercolour

Sunflowers, Sweet Peas & Elephants

Elephant - Mother & Baby - NB
Elephants – Mother & Baby, 28 cm x 19 cm on Arches 140 lb Rough paper

Painting elephants in watercolour was one of the recent tutorials in Jean Haines online watercolour school. Painting these elephants really pushed me out of my comfort zone. This is my first ever attempt at painting a whole elephant – I’d only previously done a head study. I used just three main colours – Raw Sienna Light, Ultramarine Blue and Green Apatite Genuine by Daniel Smith but I did also use just a touch of Winsor & Newton Titanium White for the tusks. I’m quite pleased with my elephants… !

Sunflower 2 - NB
Sunflower in watercolour, 28.5 cm x 19 cm on Arches Rough paper

Sunflowers and Sweet Peas were also on the agenda in “art school” too. I love sunflowers – they’re so bright, sunny and bold. For the yellow petals I used a mixture of Hansa Yellow Medium and Insoindoline Yellow and for the centre I used Rose of Ultramarine, Quinacridone Gold and Transparent Red Oxide – all by Daniel Smith.

Sweet Pea Study 1 - NB
Sweet Peas in watercolour

In direct contrast to the sunflower, Sweet Peas are so much more delicate and need much softer, pastel colours and a light hand. I love these delicate washes of colour. I painted these on Fabriano Artistico Extra White paper, 140 lb Rough. I used an assortment of colours for these but the colour that really made a difference to them was Phthalo Turquoise by Daniel Smith – it’s a stunning colour…

Sweet Peas 2 - NB
Sweet Peas in Watercolour

Lots more happening in my watercolour world. I have lots of roses in my garden, so I would like to be painting some roses over the coming week. And I feel the need to be painting some seascapes. Bye for now…

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Watercolour

Spring Flower Studies

I’ve been continuing with my spring flower studies. Two more to share today:

Blossom - NB
Blossom – watercolour flower study

First is some blossom, seen on my daily walk. I used Quinacridone Rose (DS) for the flowers. I purposely kept it very simple, tried not to add too much detail.

Next spring flower study was some Muscari:

Muscari - NB
Muscari flowers – a study in watercolour

My muscari flowers study was based on a tutorial by Jean Haines. It’s much looser than my previous study. I love the bold blues with a hint of violet and turquoise. Exact colours I chose to use were: Indanthrene Blue (W & N), Phthalo Turquoise (W & N), Manganese Blue Hue (DS), Phthalo Blue GS (DS), Winsor Violet (W & N) and Cascade Green (DS). Below you can see all these colours (from left to right) in a “dancing ladies” exercise that Jean recommends doing:

Dancing Ladies for Muscari Study - NB
“Dancing ladies”  – a watercolour exercise to decide on colour choices

Both flower studies were fun to do. But they are also a part of a learning curve for me; learning about pigments, how they interact with each other; and learning how to capture a the essence of a subject with minimal detail.

There may be a few more flower studies to follow… 🙂